Haploidentical stem cell transplantation in patients with pediatric solid tumors: preliminary results of a pilot study and analysis of graft versus tumor effects

Klin Padiatr. Nov-Dec 2006;218(6):321-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2006-942256.


Pediatric patients with relapsed metastatic tumors have a poor prognosis and new treatment strategies are warranted. We present preliminary results of a pilot study, evaluating the feasibility and toxicity of transplantation of haploidentical T and B cell depleted grafts with high numbers of NK cells. 6 patients with relapsed metastatic neuroblastomas (n = 4), rhabdomyosarcoma (n = 1) or Ewing's sarcoma (n = 1) after previous autologous transplantation received CD3/CD19 depleted grafts from mismatched family donors with a median number of 16 x 10 (6)/kg stem cells, 167 x 10 (6)/kg Natural Killer cells and only 5.4 x 10 (4)/kg residual T cells. A melphalan-based, reduced intensity conditioning was used. Despite pretransplant chemotherapy, patients entered transplantation with significant tumor burden. Primary engraftment occurred in 6/6 patients. One patient had secondary graft failure. Hematopoietic recovery was rapid (ANC > 0.5 x 10 (9)/L: 11 days (9-12); independence from platelet substitution: 8 days (7-11)). Four patients had acute GvHD grade II, limited chronic GvHD was observed in 2 patients. No transplant-related mortality and only low toxicity occurred. Four patients died from progression, two patients are alive. Overall median survival time is 6 months (2-11) to date. Analysis of posttransplant NK cell function revealed stable cytotoxic activity against K562 targets, whereas activity against neuroblastoma targets was low. Stimulation with cytokines and use of appropriate antibodies clearly enhanced specific lysis in vitro. In summary, these preliminary results indicate the feasibility and low toxicity even in intensively pre-treated patients with neuroblastomas/sarcomas. This approach may form the basis for posttransplant immunomodulation and other therapeutic strategies. Further experience is warranted to evaluate the method.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • Disease Progression
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft vs Tumor Effect*
  • Haploidy
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology*
  • Neuroblastoma / therapy*
  • Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rhabdomyosarcoma / therapy*
  • Sarcoma, Ewing / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation Conditioning
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Treatment Outcome